Jerry Nelson, voice and puppeteer behind The Count, passed away on Thursday. (Photo : Flickr)
Jerry Nelson, the puppeteer and voice behind Sesame Street's Count von Count, passed away on Thursday night after suffering emphysema for years. The beloved puppeteer died in his home in Cape Cod, Mass., the Los Angeles Times reported.
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Born in Tulsa, Okla. in 1934, Nelson began his work under American puppeteer Bil Baird, CBC News reported.
According to the Times, Nelson, 78, was one of the original members of Jim Henson's troupe of muppeteers. He joined Henson in 1964, performing with The Muppets and Sesame Street. Although he retired from physical puppeteering in 2004, Nelson was a staple voice in the kids' show until his death.
In a blog post dedicated to Nelson, the company behind Sesame Street, Sesame Street Workshop, wrote, "The cast and crew of Sesame Street and the staff of Sesame Workshop deeply mourn the loss of cast member and creator of dozens of Muppet characters, Jerry Nelson. A member of the Sesame Street family for more than 40 years, he will forever be in our hearts and remembered for the artistry in his puppetry, his music, and the laughter he brought to children worldwide through his portrayal of Count von Count, Herry Monster, Fat Blue, Sherlock Hemlock, the Amazing Mumford and many other beloved characters. We will miss his extraordinary spirit and the joy he brought to our Street."
Nelson's latest role was in last year's film "The Muppets," where he played the role of telethon announcer. He is survived by his wife.
The Count's First Appearance on Sesame Street